Visavadiya scores double ton against North Otago
By Logan Savoy of the Otago Daily Times on Wednesday, 19 December 2018


North Otago 110 ( C.R. Hassett 34, N.R. Johnston 25, B.G. James 18, T.M. Dempster 14, J.L. Osborne 6-28 ) & 185-9 ( L.C. Kingan 72, J. H. Shields 27, T.M. Dempster 19, F. Mostert 18, J.L.N. Naylor 17, S.I. Downing 4-21, H.J. Visavadya 4-23 )
Southland 482-7 Declared ( H.J. Visavidaya 223, A. Singh 58, J.M. Domigan 52no, S.M. Fitzgibbon 37, D.S. Stewart 36no, H.A. Skelt 21, J.B. McKenzie 17, B.G. James 2-56, T.M. Dempster 2-66, S.C. Kitto 2-91 )
First innings win to Southland
Scorecard for the match

Harsh Visavadiya has joined the 200 club as he continues to firm as one of Southland cricket’s all time best.

Visavadiya became just the fourth Southland batsman to score a double hundred in a Hawke Cup game, when he produced a remarkable 223 against North Otago in Invercargill at the weekend.

The innings came 10 months after Visavadiya came agonisingly short of joining the 200 club when he was dismissed on 199 in a Hawke Cup fixture against South Canterbury in Invercargill.

He joins Robert ‘‘Jumbo’’ Anderson, who scored an astonishing three Hawke Cup double hundreds during his career, including Southland’s highest-ever Hawke Cup score of 255, against Ashburton County in 1977, in Invercargill.

Rodney Tait scored a double hundred in 1988 against North Otago and the last Southlander to pass 200 was Ryan Meyer, against South Canterbury in 2013.

Visavadiya was dominant from the outset on Saturday with his first 50 coming from just 56 balls.

His second 50 also came from 56 balls as he reached his century and finished day one on Saturday unbeaten on 133.

His positive intentions flowed into yesterday as he brought up his double century in just 217 balls, much to the delight of the scattering of people at Queens Park.

Visavadiya has been a revelation for Southland cricket since he shifted from India in 2015, as part of the Southern Institute of Technology’s John Wright Scholarship programme.

His remarkable innings propelled Southland to 482 for seven against North Otago. It was the second week in a row Southland had past 400 and declared. The Hawke Cup holder posted 472 for eight against Mid Canterbury last weekend.

Earlier on Saturday, Jason Osborne starred with the ball, after North Otago won the toss and opted to bat first.

Southland coach Steve Jackson had indicated he wanted his bowlers to make their mark against North Otago.

Osborne obliged as he took six for 28 to help Southland dismiss North Otago for just 110.

When Southland declared its first innings closed at 482 for eight on Sunday, it left North Otago with just over 60 overs to bat late yesterday to avoid an outright defeat.

North Otago was in control at 99 without loss before youngster Sam Downing changed the game.

Downing took four wickets to reduce North Otago to 114 for four.

Visavadiya then added to his heroics with the bat by taking four wickets as Southland pushed towards the outright victory.

However, a stubborn North Otago lower order denied Southland’s hopes.

Scott Kitto, in particular, played an important role. Batting at 10, he faced 48 balls in his 0 not out.

North Otago was 185 for nine at stumps.

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